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Switzerland wants seat at next G20 summit

Published on 08/12/2008

GENEVA - Switzerland wants to join the next summit in April of the Group of 20 leading nations on the global economic crisis, Economy Minister Doris Leuthard said in an interview published Saturday.

"I hope we can be present" at the 2 April meeting in London, Leuthard told the daily Le Temps, adding, "we would not just be extras".

While Switzerland is not included in the world’s top 20 economic powers, it makes the rankings as a financial centre, Leuthard said.

She predicted that the country would not escape a recession in technical terms, two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product, and forecast growth of well below one percent in 2009 with deep cuts in exports.

However Switzerland should not experience a major recession accompanied by soaring unemployment and a collapse in demand, Leuthard said.

The Group of 20 (G20) incorporates the G7 of longstanding major industrialised countries, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus emerging financial giants Brazil, China, India and Russia.

Other members are Argentina, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the European Union.

[AFP / Expatica]